An article yesterday in MarketingVOX reported that comScore is adding a new metric to track user engagement. Actually it appears that this metric has existed for quite some time but has only now just emerged to a place of prominence. What is this latest crazy in the web metric world? comScore is using “visits” – the number of distinct times people visit a site per day, with at least 30 minutes between each visit.
Why the difference? According to the article, reported by ClickZ.com, but posted by MarketingVOX, “whereas pageviews generate a raw number of how many pages on the site were hit in a given period, visits point to a user’s engagement with the site. “
But, as is common these days, the concept of moving to “visits” to track isn’t compatible with everyone. The main problem is that visits will not correspond to page impressions and that is a big factor in online advertising models. However, Yahoo Chief of Insights Peter Daboll is quoted as saying “coupling visits with a site’s reach and the length of each stay offers a fuller picture of the site’s audience.“
Not a done deal and everyone has their own method to their madness, so right now we don’t have a standard for tracking.